A Small Wedge of Pi

Diagram 1: A vending Machine with Pi

In general nothing is free, but sometimes nothing will set you back a few shillings. I know, grammatically speaking, I couldn’t be more wrong. And, by the way, who still uses shillings?  Let me try to explain.

Since I started The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I’ve thought a good deal about infinite space and the law of averages.   Though my brain has struggled to accept the existence of the Infinite Improbability Drive aboard the Heart of Gold, I have accepted that given an infinite amount of time and space, just about anything can and will happen.  And when that anything does happen, it will factor into the average of the random events on either side of it.  I think.  If I’m wrong, there is a good chance my previous posts, and perhaps one of my next posts, will make up for it.

Today I came across a bottle of water wedged between a pain of glass and a rack in a highly sophisticated vending machine (see diagram 1).  It got me to thinking, there have been times in my life when I scored a free something-or-other from a vending machine, but there have also been times when I got screwed (Abba-Zabba, you used to be my only friend).   Truth is, when I pony up and press B1, I almost always say a quick prayer.  I watch the silver hook rotate like a corkscrew and say, Not this time, drop, drop, drop!

I confess, today I checked my surroundings to confirm I wasn’t being watched.  I let my shoulder fall into the vending machine.

Back to the law of averages and infinity nonsense.  At that point, just about anything could have happened.  Let’s say, an infinite amount of possibilities existed.  The water bottle could have busted free.  My shoulder could have busted through the glass.  My boss could have walked by and fired me for being such a moron.  In the bottle of water I could have found eternal youth.  In the crusty tray at the bottom of the machine, I could have found the key to the universe.

I know, mind bottling (yes, intentional).   Just think, pi is an infinite without a string of permanent repeating numbers.  If converted into binary, even this post would be represented in that infinite string.

Truth is, nothing happened.  Well that’s not entirely true.  I blushed and thought about the book I am thoroughly enjoying.  It’s a big world out there, today may have been an average day – but who knows what tomorrow may bring.

Categories: Creative Writing, Rambling, Random

7 replies

1. Does the sequence of pi contain an unbroken string of 100 zeros? I can’t recall who came up with that question, but it makes my brain hurt.

• Hahaha, I know what you mean! As far as I know, pi certainly has a string of 10 zeros, 100 zeros, actually infinite zeros – it’s just that it is random and non repeating. In fact, the answer lies within pi. That is my response to most things now 🙂

2. I’m so glad you liked my post; it gave me the opportunity to take a look at your site; love it!

• Likewise! See how that works?! Thanks for coming by, look forward to reading more of your posts!

3. What a thought-provoking post – and amusing! Considering probability equations gives me a headache. (I flunked university statistics!) Thinking about the probable reactions to a particular situation is the fuel to a science fiction writer’s imagination! Have fun with the Hitchhiker’s Guide. I loved the movies, but haven’t actually read the books. Maybe one day… 🙂

4. 42.

5. Good post…. I was on edge of my seat with what happened with your bottle story..:) Loved Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy…have fun reading it sir! Cheers..